Quick note – to the kind reader who sent me a comment – I believe in Japanese – can you resend? It got deleted before I could have Jon run it through his character reader.
My little anime obsession has subsided for the moment. I've watched and read all the exists on Black Butler and am forced to move on with my life. Despite how it looked (freakishly geeky and self-absorbed), I figured out some things that had been stalling my work on a couple of concepts. I have often had revelations about something that wasn't working for me in my writing by reading or, in this case, viewing another's. In Demon Under Glass, we have Dr. Joe McKay who was sucked into treating the captured and profoundly injured vampire, Simon Molinar. Joe knew nothing about the project before being summoned. He is appropriately horrified at what Simon is and what he has done, but he is compassionate in the care of his patient. He seems to be a complete innocent as the plot unfolds. As far as the film is concerned, that is mostly true. Mostly -- not entirely.
To continue with these characters in a series, Joe had to become more complicated. How do we make that happen? I found that the answer was staring me in the face. It took the mayhem happening in Black Butler to make me see it. I posed a bunch of questions about Simon in last week's blog. I ended up with as many for Joe by the time I finished the series. And these questions are the makings of future plots with the two characters. Joe's innocence is now very much in doubt in my head and that puts his surviving in real jeopardy. That was really necessary for me to get past the block I had about what to do with those two once they were thrown together past the film's ending. For the Demon Under Glass fans now flipping out, I didn't say we were definitely going to kill Joe at some point. It's just that I have to be able to see a way that he could be in mortal peril and have that be fair to him. After all, if Joe isn't in profound distress, there wouldn't be the fun of rescuing him or comforting him, yes? Raising these questions helped us quickly form a structure for the series of scripts we now have planned. I've even been thinking about a visual style that is very different from the film. Since the distribution will be unconventional, we may as well have an unconventional style.
Now, you may ask (or you may not but I'm going to anyway) what about the films in the offing? What about The Privateers? And Blood Oath? And the new books? How will you do all of this? The films are very much in the offing. And they are the company's first priority. However, I've already done my part in the scripts with both films. It's left to Jon to make the scripts more cinematic and solve the blocking issues so that it can be scheduled and budgeted. I'd need too much stuff to complete the production plan while I'm recuperating. And I'll need too many books to continue my research in the hospital. But I can write. And my mind can handle a lot of story lines at once. Thus, I'll be working on the treatments and maybe scripts for the longer range projects, and the novels will push to the front when the characters demand it. I actually know when we'll be publishing new books this year and the beginning of the next (excerpts will be put up after I get past surgery and possibly while I'm lazing about in the hospital.
But when, when, when will we start production on these shows? It will most likely be in the fall of this year. One of the films is supposed to shoot during the summer. The other will be much longer in pre-production, so I can't see it happening until sometime next year (though we may be working on it by late summer). We can multi-task all of this because the films would have their own line producers (not me) handling the day to day heavy lifting. We've decided as a company, we are better served to have as many projects in play as we possibly can. We never know whom we'll have an opportunity to meet that could fund or distribute or what of our works will fit their bill. Thus, while I have the inspiration, I'm going to do as much as possible. As for Demon Under Glass specifically, it's fun to be with Simon and Joe again.
Just what IS happening with the films? Sigh. I just can't find anyway of explaining that without getting myself into trouble with my partners and most likely the investors. It is a most interesting and edifying adventure which I will share one day at the bar at a wrap party or a convention. It will involve enough drinks that I can later claim that the alcohol was talking.
Year of Fun – Lunch with Garett
It was a real coincidence that all this stuff about Joe McKay was churning up at the same time Garett and I finally got together for lunch. As any encounter with him is packed full of fun. By fun, I mean hilarious, profane and sometimes embarrassing antics in public places. Craig is the only other person that has the ability to make me laugh until I can't breathe. And I know that Garett is quite the foodie as well, so I picked a place we'd never been that had great buzz in my neighborhood. I chose The Curious Palate which is just up the street from the fabulous Soaptopia and steps from the Mar Vista Farmer's market takes place every Sunday. I will devote a heft part of a blog to The Curious Palate another time. It deserves it, but I will talk about what we had for that lunch. We went for sandwiches. I had the pulled pork despite my finickiness about other people's pulled pork. He had a cheese steak sandwich – they wisely left off the word Philly because it was a flat iron steak with Gruyère cheese. A person could get beat up for calling that a Philly cheesesteak. The pulled pork was on a brioche roll which was fresh and soft. The pork itself was butter meltingly tender with just the right amount of tangy barbecue sauce. The steak sandwich was also butter tender and the cheese was smooth and just a little smoky in flavor. The sandwich was on freshly baked thick sliced sourdough pressed by a panini press. The food was so good that it took an effort to remember to talk to each other. As always, the conversation sometimes stopped other people in their tracks (no, I will not detail it here). I may at the aforementioned bars, but maybe not even then. Suffice it to say that I can't wait to have him on one of my sets again. To that end, I shared some of the plans about reviving Demon Under Glass and for Joe in particular. He was game for a lot of stuff that surprised me. This could be very interesting. All in all, that was a most excellent addition to the Year of Fun.